Bears and Earthquakes and Rent Control, Oh My!
An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the release of sudden and extreme energy due to the shifting in the Earth’s crust. Earthquakes in populated areas may cause extensive property damage. If your property is located in a mountainous area, beware that earthquakes may cause landslides. Likewise, earthquakes below the ocean floor can create tidal waves. Information regarding California fault zone areas can be located at the following California Department of Conservation website: http://www.quake.ca.gov/gmaps/WH/regulatorymaps.htm
Landlords/tenants should be prepared to fend for themselves (family) for at least three days after a significant disaster and should store:
o food and water (a gallon a day per person);
o a first aid kit and medication;
o a fire extinguisher suitable for all types of fires;
o flashlights, a portable radio, extra batteries, blankets, clothes, shoes, and money.
As the property owner, you should ensure:
o the property manager/landlord has an adjustable pipe wrench to turn off gas or water, if necessary;
o water heater and major appliances are secured to prevent them from toppling;
o hazardous or flammable liquids are stored on low shelves in secured cabinets.
o Discuss your landlord/property manager’s responsibilities should an earthquake happen.
o If there is a smell of gas, s/he should shut off the main gas valve; likewise, if evidence of damage to electrical wiring, shut off the power at the control box.
o Be careful around structures such as chimneys, which can be weakened and fall with a touch.
o Check for cracks and damage to the roof and foundation to your property,
o Aftershocks, which can be significant, generally follow large quakes. Therefore, the property should be reevaluated after each significant aftershock.
For more information on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake, visit http://www.consrv.ca.gov/index/Earthquakes/Pages/qh_earthquakes_what.aspx
California Rent Control Ordinances
The following 15 California cities currently have established rent control ordinances:
|Beverly Hills||Los Angeles||San Jose|
|Campbell||Los Gatos||Santa Monica|
|East Palo Alto||Oakland||Thousand Oaks|
|Fremont||Palm Springs||West Hollywood|
If you own (or are considering purchasing) property in any of the cities listed above, check with the local rent control board to find out what restrictions apply to property rent increases in your city, as such restrictions may significantly impact your property’s market value. In addition, each city has its own rules/regulations, so be sure to check the ordinances that apply specifically to the city in which you own property.